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Lower Insulin Resistance with Leafy Greens

To keep diabetes at bay, eat your vitamin K — from sources like spinach, cabbage,broccoli and celery. Already famous for its bone benefits, vitamin K may also reduce insulin resistance, thus protecting against diabetes. Monitoring the diet of 2,719 men and women over the course of a year, the study found those in the top 20% of vitamin K intake had significantly lower blood glucose levels, suggesting their bodies were better able to use the insulin produced by the pancreas, hence a lower diabetes risk. Top sources of vitamin K include:

Food Serving % RDA
Kale, cooked 2/3 cup 870
Spinach, raw 3 cups 510
Collards, cooked ½ cup 470
Beet, Dandelion, Turnip Greens, cooked ½ cup 290-390
Broccoli, raw 1-½ cups 190
Cabbage, cooked ½ cup 120

With so many wonderful sources, there’s no reason why up to 80% of Americans should fall short on this vital nutrient. In addition to defending against diabetes, vitamin K could also reduce fracture risk by as much as 65%, and possibly inhibit the growth of tumor and cancer cells. Keep in mind that a bit of healthy fat (olive oil, nuts, avocado) is necessary to fully absorb fat-soluble vitamin K.

Bonus: Explore our article library to learn how tea, cinnamon,  berries, citrus,broccoli and fiber might protect against diabetes.

Published May 1, 2009

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